I think everyone now has become used to the fact that the original name of the film is Billu Barber. That does not matter at all, the story and the plot remains the same. If you were to see the posters now then you will realise that something or the other is missing in the posters. I think what SRK (Shah Rukh Khan) did was correct. He did not wanted to upset anybody and we have not used the term Barber in any derogatory manner. He respected the sentiments of the hairdresser and beauty parlour association. The plot of the film remains the same so its okay.
Do you and Irrfan dance and sing songs in the film?
SRK and I have a bit of song and dance in the film and we used to tease him always on the sets that its a romantic song between two of us. Irrfan always used to get upset at this that his wife is romancing with a third person. Irrfan is very sweet and lovely to work with.
In the film we also see you transformed completely, you play a village belle very unlike your previous glamorous roles.
Well it has been fantastic and this is my second film with Priyadarshan-Ji and its my first with SRK and Irrfan Khan. I think the amalgamation of everyone who has different styles of acting and such different takes on cinema coming together to create this very special film is very heartening. This is definitely one film thats really close to my heart and so the experience has been fabulous. I think its nice sometimes to take away the war paints and just be yourself and just be simple. My character has no frills and fancies and I really loved playing Bindiya. I thought we were dressed like bhangi. I was told that I was to be poor in the film, but that poor? We both were really very poor in the film so I had all my sarees washed out but not ironed.
You are trained in dance but its a pity that the films have failed to used that skill of your.
I have been a classical dancer for more than 13 years of my life, which is something my audience dont know, and thats only because I have not done something as yet which required this skill of mine in films. But I really believe that dancing brings a lot discipline and the sort of dancing I have learnt is akin to dancing in devotion to God. So in a way you become very close to godliness while you are dancing. You can lose yourself completely. Its a sort of meditation. Also at the same time when you are dancing in a pair then there is so much of chemistry that happens and so much of give and take happening. Its really great to see two people completely in sync with each other.
Lara its also for the first time that you play a deglamourised role?
Its not the first time that I am playing a deglamourised role. I have done Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost. But its fun and I like doing such films. Its a lighter simpler story to be part of and so I prefer doing such films where you dont have to pay too much of attention as to how are you looking.
Lara how important is the promotion part of a film?
We all work hard on a film and after you are done with the shooting part of the film then the result or the outcome of that film is just not in your hand. But its important that people go and see the film and thats why you work so hard on it to make it a success. Its very important to promote your film. As far as Billu is concerned its a story thats relevant in todays times and its important that its told to people.
How was it working with Priyadarshan for the second time?
I have worked with Priyadarshan before so it was just a wonderful time to be back with him again on the sets. He is an excellent director and you can trust him completely. He respects the story of the film and is always ready with suggestions to help you. Sometimes its that you trust a director so much that you are almost ready to break your moulds and Priyadarshan falls in that category. Our whole ego was deflated during the shooting of the film, as we were not allowed to look even that bit nice. After all I am a Hindi film heroine at the end of the day. You dont look like a bundle wrapped in something, they should have given me some liberty.
Lara you recently went for the finale of Nach Baliye to promote your film, is there any connection between Nach Baliye and Billu?
I think Nach Baliye has been on everybodys mind and lips for a really long time and the show I went for was the grand finale. I think the whole country was really excited. All the contestants in the competition performed so well and even in Bud Buda, which is Billus town, we used to watch Nach Baliye. We were really excited to know as to who would be the winner of the finale. I was very happy to be part of the finale.
Do TV appearances always help in promotion of a film?
I dont know as to how much my appearance in Nach Baliye will help the film. But I am pretty sure that if the other person is SRK then people surely come and see the stuff and that surely helps in promoting a film.
Its said that a film is always bigger that the role you play, did you experience this while shooting for Billu?
Yes, sometimes the film is bigger than the role you play in the film. I thought that it was a story that needed to be told, its really sweet and its a wonderful really simple story and sometimes its nice to be a part of such a simple story.
You shot for many days in a village, please tell us something about your experience of shooting in a village.
In Polachi we all were stationed in this place called Shakti Lodge and one day a snake slowly sneaked into my room and that was really scary. I almost freaked out. And just to reach the location we had to travel in a tractor and then go down those slippery roads full of mud. The effort was only to get down to the other side of the embankment, which was a beautiful location by the riverside. Shooting for Billu was extremely difficult as we had to battle venomous snakes and animals. We also had to take care of food grabbing caretakers.
Are you convinced about the chemistry between yourself and Irrfan Khan in the film?
There is absolutely no effort required acting out any scenes with Irrfan Khan, its a very easy chemistry and flowed between two of us and thats also visible on the screen. I think while playing Bindiya I had never ever gone through so much of menial household work in my life before. Bindiya is a really special character and for her its all about her family. She is also someone who has had a hard life before.
Thanks a lot.